4 years ago

Vote now for the Android Central Best of 2013 Awards


The cream of the crop in the Android world, chosen by you

As the year starts to wind down, we take some time to make up a list of the "Best of 2013" in the Android world. We've taken the approach of using surveys to ask you, our members, to narrow down the potential winners over a few rounds. Phones, tablets, apps, accessories and more — if it has to do with Android, you can vote on it in our awards survey.

If you're in the mood for helping pick the Best of 2013, grab your favorite device, hit the link below and take a few minutes to give your feedback. The voting will stay open until Friday, December 27th. We'll of course be sharing the definitive list of winners, and you'll be able to see that on Monday, December 30th.

Take the Best of 2013 Awards Survey

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4 years ago

The best Android strategy games


We're rounding up some of our favorite strategy games on Android for the deep thinkers out there. These are more than just simple puzzles games - these require careful planning and forethought to emerge victorious. You’ll find some great replay value in games like these too, since the same strategy won’t always work twice.

Strategy gamers, pop on your thinking caps and get downloading these outstanding Android games.

4 years ago

Samsung officially announces GamePad availability in parts of Europe


The Samsung GamePad beats Half-Life 3 to market

We've already had our hands all over the Samsung GamePad at IFA2103, and we've been hearing about it since the launch of the Galaxy S4 some 10 months or so ago, but Samsung has made it official today.

The GamePad will launch in European markets for Android phones between 4-inches and 6.3-inches, and be compatible with devices running Jelly Bean or higher with Bluetooth 3.0. Special attention has been made to Samsung phones of course, and we're told the "most convenient features optimized for Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 4.3 such as Galaxy Note 3, S4, Note II, and S III enable easy connectivity with GamePad via NFC tag and quicker access to games via the “PLAY” button."

The mobile app to control the GamePad is available in the Samsung app store, and the unit itself currently available in select European markets, with new markets being released in the coming weeks. There is no word on US availability dates, or pricing.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Gamepad

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

Pebble donates 4000 smartwatches in new Pebble Education Project


$600,000 worth of hardware is now in the hands of engineering students and young entrepreneurs

Pebble has taken the wraps off a new project today, where 4,000 Pebble smartwatches were given to CS and engineering programs at CMU, Stanford, MIT, Virginia Tech and other technology schools across the US. While Pebble estimates the cost of the donations to be over $600,000, the benefit of having their hardware in the hands of the next generation of thinkers and makers is priceless.

Pebble recently released their new and improved SDK, so attracting minds to work with it is a natural course of action. There are already thousands of applications for the Pebble, but the new SDK — and a group of talented individuals to work with it — should create some great new content. 

The Pebble and it's well-documented SDK is a great tool for budding developers and old pros alike. And hopefully, if the next Alan Turing is out there, he or she gets a chance to spend some time with one. You can read more at the source link below.

Source: Pebble

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4 years ago

Ask the AC editors: Last-minute gift picks


Procrastinators, unite! Here are a few last-minute gift ideas for the tech lover on your list

The holidays have crept up on us. Again. The next few days are pretty much the last hope of getting something shipped in time for your holiday gift-giving. We know that some of us still have gifts to buy, and that some of them will be for the tech enthusiast in your life. 

We can't help you find a place to park at the mall, or keep you company while you're in that long line at the checkout, but we can give you a few quick ideas to make things just a little easier. Jump past the break and see what last-minute gifts we're filling our carts — both online and off — with.

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4 years ago

Holiday Photo Contest: Day 4 collectible winner!


The fourth of 14 winners in our extra-long photo contest

We're moving right along on our long-running Holiday Photo Contest, and that means another picture has been chosen as a winner. We're offering up an Android mini collectible to one photo entry following the prompt "holidays" every single day until December 26th.

Hit the break to see today's winner, and be sure to get your entry into the contest thread in the forums if you haven't yet participated. Good luck!

Enter the holiday photo contest​

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4 years ago

It's not just you — Google Wallet seeing issues


You're not alone, folks. Google Wallet appears to be struggling this afternoon. Time to reach for that good ol' standby in your back pocket. Google's status board is still green, but keep an eye on it.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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4 years ago

12 Days of Christmas giveaway day ten: Win a Galaxy Note 3 from AC and Sprint

On the tenth day of Christmas AC and Sprint gave to me ... A Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The good people at Sprint have partnered with us to do something awesome for the holidays, and we're giving away a great Samsung phone or tablet every day for the next 12 days.

We've got a pile of great stuff, including the Galaxy Tab 3, the Note 3, the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 mini. Winning one is easy, but you'll need to follow the rules.

  • Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win today's prize. Only one comment. 
  • We'll close the comments after 24 hours and pick a winner at random. 
  • Make sure the contact details you have entered when you signed up at AC are good, because that is how I will get in touch with you. 

Today's prize is a Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It's the best big phone you can buy, so winning one would be sweet, right? Don't miss out on this one.

The 12 days of Christmas giveaway is brought to you by Sprint, and their truly unlimited plans.

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4 years ago

Cast ye olde yule log this Christmas


It's just not the Christmas season without streaming a roaring fire on the telly. Or, more specifically, using Chromecast! And the Chrome YouTube channel has put together a sweet playlist of fireplaces, burning wood, and Nerdist lasers. 

Yes, lasers. Enjoy. Cast all the things.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 arrives on China Mobile with a few hardware differences


Build differences, 32GB internal storage and TD-LTE support for Chinese variant

Sony's latest Android flagship, the Xperia Z1, has today landed on China's largest carrier, the state-owned China Mobile. The Chinese Z1 looks much the same as its international cousin — from a distance, at least — and sports a similar spec sheet to its global counterpart. There's a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch Triuminos 1080p display, 3000mAh battery and 20.7-megapixel rear camera. 

But there are some key differences to be found the China Mobile Xperia Z1, which carries the model number L39t. There's 32GB of built-in storage, versus 16GB on the global version. What's more, the frame around the outside of the device is reportedly plastic like the Xperia Z and Z Ultra, not metal as on the global Z1. The position of the headphone jack is more centralized, and the noise-canceling speaker is now found behind a small hole in the glass back. In fact, the Chinese model is a dead ringer for the alleged T-Mobile U.S. version that leaked out a couple of months back.

The new Xperia Z1 variant also supports TD-LTE bands used by China Mobile, as well as TD-SCDMA and GSM.

The Chinese Xperia Z1 is running software based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean; presumably an update to 4.3 will follow at some point given that version's recent arrival on international Z1 devices. In any case, the new and slightly different Sony Xperia Z1 is slated launch on China Mobile for 4,499 yuan ($724) in black and purple flavors around the end of the month.

Source: XperiaBlog, ePrice

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4 years ago

Redbox Instant arrives on the Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fires


App only compatible with Kindle Fire tablets

Coming up on exactly one year after its release on Google Play, Verizon's Redbox Instant streaming app is now available for the Kindle Fire. If you're not quite familiar with Redbox Instant, it falls in line with many other video on-demand offerings, with thousands of movies available for instant streaming and download on your device. Further, the app doubles as a way to reserve movies at Redbox kiosks, which can fill in the gaps left by streaming.

This initial release supports just Kindle Fire devices, including all models except for the very first Fire. Second-generation Kindle Fire, Fire HD and current HDX models are all compatible. You can snag the app for free from the Amazon Appstore at the link below.

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4 years ago

Puzzle Retreat for Android gets new levels before the competition


Puzzle games are a great fit for mobile devices. The levels tend to be nice and short, and touch screen controls can easily keep up with the demands of the genre.

One of the more clever non-physics puzzle games I’ve played is Puzzle Retreat from the Voxel Agents. Last week, the Android version of the game received a new batch of levels before the iOS or Windows Phone versions. The new “Promenade” levels aren’t free, but the game itself is. And if you like a mental challenge, you’ll definitely want to try this one out.

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4 years ago

HTC CFO to take over global sales duties


HTC Chief Financial Officer Chailin Chang will take over as head of global sales in addition to his current responsibilities, reports Bloomberg. Chang takes over global sales duties from HTC America President Jason Mackenzie, who has occupied the role since late 2012, having managed both global sales and marketing before that.

The move is one of many HTC executive switches in the past year, which has seen several high-level job changes and departures at the Taiwanese smartphone maker amid falling revenue. HTC recently posted the first quarterly operating loss in its history, and risks a second quarter of losses if it misses its Q4 targets by even a small amount.

This latest change of responsibilities also brings a key role back to the company's Taipei HQ, a theme of some of HTC's earlier restructuring.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Glass Hunt brings Duck Hunt-style shooting to Google Glass


"What are you doing," my wife asked me. Not an uncommon question around here, especially if I've got Google Glass on. The answers usually aren't all that common, either, and today's got her good. "I'm shooting footballs. Or potatoes. Or something. Definitely not ducks."

I was playing Glass Hunt, a little Glassware game from Derek Johnson and Jason Malashock. Little veggie burgers (or something) fly through the air, and you turn your head to line 'em up and take 'em out.

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4 years ago

More HTC Android 4.3 updates landing this week


4.3 rolling out now for HTC One Mini; Verizon HTC One OTA due this week; international One Max also getting bugfix update

More Android 4.3 updates are arriving for certain HTC One series handsets this week. First up, the international HTC One Mini is getting an over-the-air update to version 2.12.401.1, based on Android 4.3 and HTC Sense 5.5, which brings it in line with the European HTC One. The update includes all the features we've previously seen Sense 5.5 updates for the One and One Max, including a re-vamped BlinkFeed and additional gallery and video highlight features.

Next is the Verizon HTC One, which had its Android 4.3 update delayed around a month and a half ago. According to a tweet by Mo Versi, HTC's Executive Director of Product Management, Verizon's M7 should be getting its Android 4.3 OTA this week after the update received technical approval from the carrier. It's unclear whether this update will be based on Sense 5.5 or the older Sense 5.0, however.

And finally the international version of the HTC One Max is getting a selection of bug fixes in an update now heading out to European handsets. Version 1.54.401.1 — still based on Android 4.3 — includes fixes for touch responsiveness, SIM card detection, Wifi connectivity and general system stability. In addition, the update resolves issues when posting HTC Shares to Facebook, and improves performance for the battery-toting HTC Power Flip Case.

Next up is Android 4.4 KitKat, which is already rolling out to unlocked and developer edition HTC Ones in the U.S., and due to land internationally by the end of January.

Source: XDA; @moversi; Thanks, Shen!

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